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Jenin Jenin – Review by Kenneth Ellman – Review by Kenneth Ellman

Very Very Sad with update about admissions of producer

I wrote this review years ago on May 17, 2004, and now May 19, 2009 make this addition and update to my review. Many people here and elsewhere have commented about the lawsuit against the producer of this film.
As has been reported elsewhere the producer Mr. Muhammad Bakri, who had claimed Israel committed genocide in the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002, has ADMITTED in a deposition to inaccuracies throughout his film. The film maker was sued by five Israeli soldiers visible in still footage in the film.
The deposition reportedly shows that:
“When asked about a scene in which it is implied Israeli troops ran over civilians, Bakri admitted to constructing the footage himself as an “artistic choice.” He also answered “no” when asked if he believed “that during the operation in Jenin, the Israeli soldiers killed people indiscriminately.” Bakri additionally admitted his documentary, which was screened in theaters around the world, was financed in part by the Palestinian Authority. The producer Mohammad Bakri stated that Yasser Abed Rabu, Palestinian minister of culture and information and a member of former PLO leader Yasser Arafat’s executive committee, “covered a part of the film expenses.”‘

So we now have the film producer, admitting under OATH, that the film is NOT accurate, that he did not verify the accounts of persons interviewed AND in fact had staged and fabricated parts of the film. I wonder in light of these admissions by Mr. Muhammad Bakri , the film producer, if any of the reviewers here would change their view of this fictional film.

TO show the contrast between the laws and government of Israel and that of the rest of the Middle East, the law suit by the IDF soldiers was eventually dismissed. While the Israeli Court did determine that the film was inaccurate and was slanderous, it also apparently determined that the film was not directed against the particular five soldiers who commenced the law suit. Therefore those five particular IDF soldiers could not prove that they in particular were slandered and the lawsuit was dismissed. In other words the Court determined that the slander in the film was directed against the whole population of Israel or the entire IDF, and not at the five specific soldiers. Therefore those five particular soldiers cannot bring the lawsuit against the Producer Muhammad Bakri. The five soldiers did receive as part of a cash settlement money damages against the movie theaters that had shown the film at that time

This was purported to be a “documentary” not a fictional work. This film was not just for entertainment but to educate as to what occurred. That is why I have stated below, in my original review that if this is to be treated as a film of fiction, of the imagination, then that is fine. But as a documentary it is simply a fraud. A film by Pierre Rehov, The Road to Jenin, challenges Bakri’s allegations and may be a better choice as a documentary
It is a terrible thing to create a film of fantasy and pretend it is a documentary. In injures the truth which is always under a continuous shadow and darkens the hope to seek a resolution in the Middle East. Kenneth Ellman,

Original Review of May 17, 2004
I have read the various reviews and comments about this film.
IF this film was distributed as a work of Fiction having no connection with reality then I would not rate it at all. A work of fiction is not held to any standard of factual reliability so and it would have no connection with the real world. Each person chooses his or her own fantasy to enjoy.

Apparently this film pretends to make a record of what actually occurred. The incidents alleged to be addressed by this film have been carefully investigated by various International Organizations including the United Nations (no friend of Israel) and also by the United States, and Israel itself. Various other governments were seriously concerned with the allegations. These Official investigations and records are available and fully document what occurred. The Official investigations show beyond any question that Israel did not destroy the Town of Jenin and did not intentionally kill the civilians who might have been in the area of the battle. Israel did not cause the death of the people as alleged in the film and as alleged at other times by various propaganda.

SO the question is: what do the comments here about the film reveal. It reveals that many people are easily deceived and apparently not willing to actually read the investigations conducted over the allegations. IF you are not interested enough to find out the truth by reviewing the voluminous records and studies conducted by reputable and reliable organizations then why pretend that you care?

Someone who cares wants to learn the truth and not just watch a film or tv program. Reading takes a little work but it is a great reward. Are the viewers of this film just commenting on this Amazon site about how they liked this work of FICTION? This imaginary film?
OR do they actually believe that these things happened as the film pretends and fantasizes?

SO it is very, very, sad when people who apparently care so much about an allegation are not willing to make the effort to read the studies and reports about the incident but accept a film of fantasy as being reality. If this type of NON fact checking and intellectual dishonesty continues to pervade our American culture then we will be further distanced from reality and our judgments will become weak and ineffective. Nothing is more important than Truth and making the effort to find the Truth. One of the reasons why Peace is so hard to achieve in that area of the world is the way of life that the Truth is secondary to social feelings and needs. Peace cannot be achieved by falsehood. This film is just another stab at the Arab and Israeli people in that region by continuing to portray fantasy as reality. It is an insult to all viewers.
Kenneth Ellman,